Saturday, February 27, 2010

8.8 Earthquake Strikes Chile


It seems lately like a common occurrence to hear that an earthquake has hit some part of the world. By now I'm sure your well aware of the powerful earthquake that has struck Chile. First, our hearts and prayers go out to the people that have been affected by this earthquake. We should all be ready to help however we can as we did with Haiti.

Yet as the news updates keep trickling in and we begin to hear more of what is happening in the aftermath, thus far there is something that I keep on hearing and seems obviously evident. It's the fact that Chile though experiencing an earthquake 500X stronger than the one in Haiti so far seems to have fared much better than Haiti. The reason that I've been hearing reporters and experts say this is so is simply because they say how Chile was 'prepared' how they followed 'building codes' and therefore the loss of life and destruction though naturally still heart wrenching doesn't come close to seeing some 200,000 people die. (that we know of so far)

Hearing the aforementioned I couldn't help but to think how important it is for us as Christians to be 'prepared' for Jesus is coming soon! But in that same breath I also realize how important it is for us to be 'prepared' by building our spiritual life with the proper 'building code.' Friend that code is obviously Jesus!

Sometimes it seems that we are more concerned with the events that lead to the end instead of the PERSON who's coming at the end. Sometimes it seems that we're so busy trying to build our own lives yet we don't even have a firm foundation.

Hey listen the bible is clear crazy things are going to happen before Jesus comes, but the craziest thing that I hope doesn't happen... is that after everything the bible said about proper building, we never built on our firm foundation (JESUS) because we never made Him our foundation...

God I pray for Chile & Haiti! I pray that we make you our firm foundation Jesus! Even so come Lord Jesus...


image by [todosnuestrosmuertos

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What causes a leader to fail?


It has been said that, "if you want to lead then you need to read." I have found the above statement to be true for several reasons. Yet this post isn't about the reasnons to read but about what I have read.

Derailed: Five Lessons Learned From Catastrophic Failures of Leadership by Tim Irwin, Ph.D. 

Essentially Dr. Irwin chronicles six CEO's and why they failed (derailed) as leaders of the companies they were in charge of. 

In the books forward Patrick Lencioni says, " warned that this book is not really about six famous leaders who derailed. It is about you. And me. And anyone who ever decided to accept a position of leadership. No one is immune from derailment."

His assessment is on target. Tim Irwin does begin by telling the stories of six CEO's:

  • Bob Nardelli: Former CEO of Home Depot
  • Carly Fiorina: Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard
  • Durk Jager: Former CEO of Proctor & Gamble
  • Steven Heyer: Former CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
  • Frank Raines: Former CEO of Fannie Mae
  • Dick Fuld: Former CEO of Lehman Brothers
Dr. Irwin writes that leaders derail for basically four reasons (or lack of these four):
  1. Authenticity
  2. Self-management
  3. Humility
  4. Courage
He continues, "Derailment occurs in a predictable progression--a process that those who derail seem to follow. Derailed leaders progress through five stages as they head toward their demise." (p.89)

The five stages he chronicles are:
  1. A Failure of Self/Other Awareness
  2. Hubris: Pride Before The Fall
  3. Missed Early Warning Signals
  4. Rationalizing
  5. Derailment
Yet Irwin doesn't simply tell us about CEO's that derailed and the stages that derailed leaders go through, but also the lessons we can learn, "The purpose of Derailed is to shed intense light on our vulnerabilities--the irregularities and small cracks and fissures that can cause us to derail, whether we are leaders, emerging leaders, or simply navigating a career." (p. 160) Those five lessons are:
  1. Character Trumps Competence
  2. Arrogance Is The Mother Of All Derailers
  3. Lack Of Self/Other Awareness Is A Common Denominator Of All Derailments
  4. We Are Always Who We Are...Especially Under Stress
  5. Derailment Is Not Inevitable, But Without Attention To Development. It is Probable.
Without a doubt this book is one that all leaders or those on a path to be leaders should read. Dr. Irwin has even set up a free Derailment Personal Risk Assessment online that anyone can take. 

If I had to sum up the book in just a few sentences I would say the following:

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom" & "Pride goes before destruction a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov. 11:2 & 16:18 N.I.V)

So what have you read lately that you would recommend? Please let me know!


image taken from Dr. Tim Irwin's website  

Saturday, February 20, 2010

We're all like Tiger...

Yes we are all like Tiger a certain degree that is. No most of us will certainly never play golf like Tiger but nonetheless we are all like Tiger. On Friday even if you don't care about the Tiger Woods saga you most likely listened or heard about his much anticipated public apology.

It's amazing how so many people even those who never watch golf are fascinated and intrigued with the personal life of Tiger Woods. I wonder though if perhaps some of these people are this way because well...we're all like Tiger.

If you didn't get to see/hear his public apology you could do so here. During his short apologetic speech he said this:
"I've had a lot of time to think about what I've done. My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before."
You see we're all like Tiger to the extent that, "we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23).  If some how we think that we are better than him or anyone else because we haven't done what he did we are comparing ourselves with someone we know that we can look favorable. Maybe at this point is when we really should be like Tiger and spend some time and think about what we've done, and perhaps look at ourselves in a way we never wanted to before.

Tiger Woods recently was dropped by Accenture one of his sponsors. This was the sponsor that ran an ad (watch it here) that said, "...we know what it takes to be a Tiger." People of course had much to say of these words after everything became public what Tiger had done.

But the reality is though as we have noted Accenture was actually right, "we know what it takes to be a Tiger", because we have all sinned, maybe not like Tiger but sinned nonetheless.

Though we are all like Tiger in this sense. I though don't believe in Buddhism I believe in Jesus Christ and praise Him for these words:
"If you confess your sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)  
So if I believe this text then...well I'm no longer like Tiger.


image from [

Saturday, February 13, 2010

40 Day Challenge: Are you in?


"Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be substituted, and the health of the soul be preserved. Prayer brings the heart into immediate contact with the Wellspring of life, and strengthens the sinew and muscle of the religious experience. Neglect the exercise of prayer, or engage in prayer spasmodically, now and then, as seems convenient, and you lose your hold on God. The spiritual faculties lose their vitality, the religious experience lacks health and vigor" 

WOW what a powerful statement to say the least. The statement above is from a book called Gospel Workers written by a well published deceased Seventh-day Adventist writer named Ellen G. White. 

There is no doubt that without true hearted prayer our relationship with Jesus and any possibility of going deeper with Him is basically impossible. The bible tells us that after having a very busy Sabbath day teaching and healing the multitude into the late evening (perhaps even early morning). Jesus, " the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there." (Mk. 1:38)

Though he had had an exhausting Sabbath Jesus understood that unless He spent time in prayer with His Father He had no strength. He needed daily of the Spirit of God! 

Our church today has begun 40 Days of prayer and devotions. It's a book written by a pastor named Dennis Smith you can check out his website and books here. I challenged our church today and also challenge those reading this post to join us, buy the book using the link above or you can also buy it at the Adventist Book Center or if you prefer to speak to someone call 334-272-6450 they'll ship anywhere.

Take note though I have already noticed the devil getting angry. This will happen when we step out of our comfort zone and truly seek our Lord. But fear not If God is for us who can be against us?

So will you join us? Will you step out of your comfort zone for these 40days and see what God can do?


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why I Twitter


Ok so I know what your saying "Twitter?" I'm on facebook! Facebook is without a doubt impressive with its 400 million active users and counting. Interestingly enough I'm not one of them.

Now let me be clear I'm fully aware of Facebook and how it works and what one could do with it and even the security issues it recently had aaaannnnd how Facebook is soon to name its own president of it's 400 million active user country...ok maybe not that last one, but you get the point.

With that said though I do tweet and I'm slowly getting into 'buzzing' (still feels weird to say that) which is googles new social media venture. If some of you are still on myspace...why?

But before I tell you why I twitter if you have time check out The Beginner's Guide to Twitter and 12 reason's Thomas Nelson's CEO Michael Hyatt twitters. By the way Thomas Nelson is the largest Christian publishing company in the world. Also please check out my friends blog Rodlie he had a good post on 'The Value of Twitter VS Facebook.

Twitter has about 75 million people open an account, but the amount of people that actively use it is much lower. Simply stated I have found twitter useful for the following reasons:

  • I learn of any national news immediately (even before I hear it on t.v)
  • I receive my local news immediately (even before I hear it on t.v.)
  • I keep up with the latest technology immediately
  • I keep up with a lot of what's happening in the evangelical world (conferences, sermons, trends, etc)
  • I keep up with what's happening in the Adventist world (the church I serve)
  • I obviously follow what some friends are doing
Now perhaps you are saying I can do all this with Facebook, but there is something with Twitter because since you can only type 140 characters you don't spend a lot of time on it (sometimes) so I can quickly browse through my tweets and spend more time on the ones that get my attention.

One important thing though it's important who you follow in order for twitter to really be useful at least how I like to use it. I have received 'tweets' (some with links to a Christian blog for example) that have made me wonder and ponder and made me go deeper with Jesus.

So what are you waiting for get own open an account if you haven't and follow me @javid21


image by [mfilej]

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl after thought...

Though I'm not a fan of either team, I'm glad the Saints won the Super Bowl. It was a good game, good coverage by CBS, some of the commercials were funny (don't mess with my moma and don't mess with my doritos!) others not so funny ( Once again congratulations to the Saints in winning their first Super Bowl!

But really who cares! It's been already stated that this years Super Bowl will most likely be the highest viewed ever, seen by perhaps over 100 million people and who knows how many more. Don't miss understand me though I'm a sports fan and no I'm not bitter because my team the Dolphins had a bad season. Really I'm not.

I've been a Laker fan my entire life and still am (born and raised in L.A.), and after they won the NBA championship last June, after all the emotion and feelings of victory I said to myself the same thing "Who cares!"

I understand it's just a time to get away, relax and have some fun with friends and family and there's nothing inherently wrong with that. But really who cares!

I don't know any of the Lakers and of course for that matter any of the Saints players personally. They all still and will always make more money than the average viewer, they can't solve any of our problems, and a few moments of happiness don't account for real joy needed in too many peoples lives.

So really who cares! I mean honestly it's amazing we'll sit in front of a T.V. watch it for hours without wanting to miss even the commercials and for some especially the commercials. But lets be real when's the last time we spent that long praying, reading God's word, or even that long sitting in church without complaining.

 Perhaps sometimes we say I care to the things we should be saying Who cares and Who cares to the things we should be saying I care.

So I'm not saying don't watch the Super bowl, the NBA championship, World Series or whatever other clean entertainment you watch.

But just a simple Super Bowl after thought...I hope I always care more for the things God cares for.

What about you? Do you care?


photo by [RMTip21 under a creative common license, photo actually is from NFL]

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Rapture

At any 'moment' in time Jesus could come and woooosh rapture the church! Well, so goes the belief that many Christians today believe in. I don't personally adhere to that view at all. But lately it has made me think though.

If one really believes that Jesus is coming back at any moment then wouldn't or shouldn't more Christians really be striving to be just like Jesus? If Jesus is coming at any 'moment' to rapture the church then shouldn't they be intensely studying their Bibles, praying, fasting, and telling others who really aren't following Jesus that they really should because hey Jesus is coming at any 'moment?'

Yet Seventh-day Adventist who though don't believe Jesus is going to rapture us (me being one of those granted) but believe that Jesus is "coming soon"  at least sooner than we first believed, shouldn't we be striving to be more like Jesus? If Jesus is coming soon than shouldn't we be intensely studying our Bibles, praying, fasting, and telling others who really aren't following Jesus that they really should because hey Jesus is coming soon ?

So wether it's at any 'moment' or 'coming soon' Christians we should really, very soon, like this very moment, woooosh wake up, start reading our Bibles, praying, fasting, and telling others about Jesus. Along with all that we need to start living like Jesus.

Think about it Jesus knew that He wasn't going to die until He died on the cross! Therefore to a great extent He lived each 'moment' for His Father understanding that 'soon' He would die for us, so that we could live every 'moment' for Him understanding that 'soon' He will be coming for us!

So stop living an un-momentus life and live every 'moment' for Him because 'soon' He's coming for you...


NOTE: to learn what the bible says about the rapture go here

photo by [chuckholton]

Monday, February 1, 2010


It's February, and one of the things that comes to the minds of many besides the Superbowl this coming Sunday (who dat?) and having off (for some) on President's day which is February the 15th is of course Valentines day.

We already can see the color red all over the place along with, teddy bears, chocolate and of course hearts. We see a lot of hearts, red hearts. The Bible though has a powerful statement that we all should remember as we perhaps are making our plans for that friend, or special someone we want to impress during Valentines or as it might also be called 'Heart day.'

The Bible says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jer. 17:9)  Add to this text the fact that God tells Samuel as he's getting ready to pick Israel's next king, "...The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1 Sam. 16:7)

So if God looks at the heart and my heart is deceitful above all things? Wow I'm in trouble! Thank God because though He does look at the heart, He also looks to see if our hearts are red, if they have a lot of red given to us by Someone who's own heart was broken.

So I know what I want to make sure Jesus has for Valentines, my deceived heart....
What about you?


photo by [andu_dimofte]

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